Peter Rhodes on an evil empire, an excess of vomit and Auntie Beeb's blubbing contest

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

THIS is a delicate matter.

Olivia (gulp) Colman

As the height of the male population increases (from 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins in the past 50 years), is the height of public conveniences also rising? I fear an epidemic of RHU may be upon us. Your tales of Ridiculously High Urinals will be treated in strict confidence, unless they are amusing.

ONE of my ardent anti-Brexit correspondents, a reader who adores the EU and wishes to embrace the culture and traditions of 27 European nations in a spirit of goodwill and co-operation, has a real problem with me being from Yorkshire. Remember, xenophobia starts with your next village.

I DO get a wee bit worried by those who take a malicious glee in telling us that it is impossible to leave the EU. Not even the British Empire hung on to its possessions so grimly. If we really are in an empire from which there is no escape it is, by definition, an evil empire.

WELCOME back to Who Do You Think You Are (BBC1), a show in which celebrities compete to see how quickly they can burst into tears over something that happened hundreds of years ago to a distant relative they hadn't heard of until that moment. In the first show of the new series, Olivia Colman got off to a fine start by blubbing, after just 10 minutes, about her great-great-great-grandmother being sent from India to England at the age of three in 1812. Next week's show features comedian Lee Mack. Start toning up those tear ducts, Lee.

I HAVE just been on another train. That makes three in eight years, although the one in the middle, the tourist steamer from Corfe Castle to Swanage last month, hardly counts, being a charity-run thing. Apart from that, the last train I rode was on January 29, 2010 to cover Tony Blair's appearance at the Iraq Inquiry. I remember it particularly because I managed to forget my wristwatch. News editors get quite anxious about timings. Thankfully, just next to the Commons, someone had built an enormous tower with a large clock on the top and a fine peal of bells. The provincial in the capital.

THIS week's ride took me on the train from Coventry to Leamington Spa which now, after a gap of 53 years, again stops at Kenilworth. In ye olden days I was a trainee reporter on the Kenilworth Weekly News. In the silly season, we could always fill half a page with speculation about when the old station would be reopened. Everything comes to he who waits (except the things that don't).

LEAMINGTON, like most big towns and cities has seen huge celebrations for the World Cup but not a drop of rain to wash away the results. I have never seen so much dried vomit despoiling the pavements. As that fine old football anthem goes: Three Lagers on My Shoes.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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